Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae): ethnobotanical studies in Guatemala

Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae): ethnobotanical studies in Guatemala


This article reviews an ethnobotanical survey and a prelimary agronomic study in order to understand the popular uses and viability of Moringa oleifera, a widely-used and well-known plant in Guatemala. 

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors found that Moringa oleifera is known by many names and has multiple uses in Guatemala, indicating that it has extensive distribution and historial use, even though it is native to central Asia. Additionally, the seeds with the highest germination were immersed in room temperature water for 24 and the plants had the greatest survival and growth rate at 1070 m elevation. Based on these findings, the authors suggest the M. oleifera be used in reforestation programs in Guatemala. 

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Cáceres A, Freire V, Girón LM, Avilés O, Pacheco G. Notes on economic plants. Economic Botany. 1991;45(4):522 - 523. doi:10.1007/BF02930717.


  • Center for Mesoamerican Studies on Appropriate Technology, Guatemala City, Guatemala.